TAMIU Alum First Hispanic Woman in History to Earn
Public Administration Doctorate from Rutgers-Newark
“Education is a label of self love.”
with this quote once heard from an undergraduate class professor at Texas
A&M International University (TAMIU), Karina Moreno Saldívar earned a master
of public administration degree from TAMIU in 2008 while working a full-time
Historic Day for TAMIU Alum
Karina Moreno Saldívar, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Master of Public Administration (MPA) alum ‘08, is the first Hispanic woman to earn a doctoral degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark. Her husband, Christopher Saldívar, left, graduated this spring with an MPA degree from Metropolitan College of New York.
did she know then that four years later, the road to success would lead to a
much higher life platform.
year, Moreno Saldívar, an immigrant from Monterrey, México, became the first
Hispanic woman to earn a doctoral degree in public administration from Rutgers
University-Newark, a program ranked 7th in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report.
September, she will begin work as a full-time faculty member at Kean
University’s Department of Public Administration in Union, N.J.
Saldívar, whose doctoral dissertation studied the effect of the Arizona
immigration law (Senate Bill 1070) on Latino political attitudes and behaviors,
said she is proud of her most recent accomplishment.
was able to keep focused due to a combination of factors,” she said, “Knowing I
was representing Latinas in higher education and knowing my dissertation research was giving a
voice to a group that is often excluded or underrepresented were extremely powerful
thanked her husband, Christopher Saldívar; TAMIU MPA professor Dr. Peter
Haruna; the faculty at Rutgers and family and friends for supporting her
throughout her program completion.
endeavor was possible because I had the unconditional support of my husband,
family and friends,” she said.
Saldívar, daughter of Israel and Idalia Moreno, is the first in her family to
earn a college degree.
parents are two extremely brave people,” she said, “We are immigrants from
Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. I dedicated my dissertation to them because they
were brave enough to venture into something completely new and unknown so that
my younger siblings and I could have an opportunity at both a better education
and a better life.”
MPA program propelled her to pursue a doctoral degree, Moreno Saldívar said.
MPA program is a quality program,” she said, “It is what motivated me to
continue with my studies. I decided to apply to Ph.D. programs after discussing
this possibility with my mentor, Dr. Haruna, who is an excellent professor in
TAMIU’s MPA program. This relationship was always accessible over e-mail and
phone and was incredibly helpful throughout my first year at Rutgers.”
said TAMIU can take students as far as they are willing to go.
was one of six students accepted to Rutgers’ doctoral program (in public
administration) in 2009, and I finished my Ph.D. with a 4.0 GPA in three years
with two publications in scholarly journals,” she said.
said she feels powered by her alma mater in many ways.
purpose and mission is a very noble and admirable one,” she said, “It fuels
students like myself who are the first in their families to attend college and it
does so in an individualized way that makes it possible not only to achieve
that baccalaureate degree but to do the unimaginable.”
said she never imagined she would some day earn a doctoral degree.
had never imagined prior to sitting in that classroom as an undergraduate
student that I’d continue with my education until achieving a Ph.D., so, TAMIU,
to me, is empowerment and for that, I am very grateful to the University.”
the meantime, Saldívar said she and her husband, who also graduated this spring
with an MPA degree from Metropolitan College of New York, will give back to
their community by running the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4 as part of
a fundraiser for an international organization, Save a Child’s Heart.
saw this as our opportunity to plant goodwill and peace in the world, and what
better race to do than one that goes through all five boroughs of New York?”
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